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Album Review

The Vandermark 5 Special Edition: The Horse Jumps And The Ship Is Gone

Read "The Horse Jumps And The Ship Is Gone" reviewed by Mark Corroto

With the 16th official release by The Vandermark 5, composer/director/leader Ken Vandermark invites two guest musicians to share the stage. Norwegian pianist Håvard Wiik and Swedish trumpeter Magnus Broo are, however, no strangers to projects by the reedman and company. That familiarity yields this solid June, 2009 live date at Chicago's Green Mill.Broo, an excellent inside/out player, can be heard in the European equivalent to the V5--Atomic--and in The Angles. Likewise, Wiik is a member of Atomic and ...

Album Review

Vandermark 5 Special Edition: The Horse Jumps And The Ship Is Gone

Read "The Horse Jumps And The Ship Is Gone" reviewed by John Sharpe

In their early days, the Vandermark 5 gave founder and reed man Ken Vandermark, the opportunity to workshop and road test fresh ideas. His writing skills have now been honed to such an extent that he is one of the most consistently inventive small group composers around, and the V5 has become one of the great working bands on the current scene. For its eighteenth, outing the quintet is expanded to a seven-piece Special Edition, with the addition of trumpeter ...

Live Review

Vandermark 5 and Atomic: Double Bill at the Vortex in London

Read "Vandermark 5 and Atomic: Double Bill at the Vortex in London" reviewed by John Sharpe

Vandermark 5 and AtomicThe VortexLondonSeptember 16, 2010It was difficult to avoid a frisson of pleasurable anticipation at the sight of the handwritten sign proclaiming “Totally sold out" taped onto the door of north London's Vortex Jazz Club. A feeling compounded by the presence of the BBC's mobile recording unit parked outside. This was going to be a good night. And why shouldn't it be with a double header by the Vandermark 5 and Atomic, two ...

Album Review

The Vandermark 5: Annular Gift

Read "Annular Gift" reviewed by Mark Corroto

The Vandermark 5's Annular Gift is its most accessible and swinging recording to date. Recorded live (one reason) in Krakow, Poland, the quintet has come together (reason two) as a true aggregate of players.

This is their fifteenth official release (there have been some CD-Rs and compilation discs) and third for the Polish label Not Two. The others were the sprawling and ultimately satisfying 12-CD collection of live dates at Alchemia in 2004 (since Alchemia, cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm replaced trombonist ...

Album Review

Fire Room: Broken Music

Read "Broken Music" reviewed by Troy Collins

Broken Music is the appropriately titled debut of Fire Room, a collaborative international effort featuring wildly prolific Chicago-based composer and multi-instrumentalist Ken Vandermark. This unconventional trio features Norwegians Paal Nilssen-Love (drums) and Lasse Marhaug (electronics), inceptive members of Vandermark's Powerhouse Sound. Exploring similar territory, Fire Room ventures further into the extremes of brutal cacophony and disquieting stillness.

Where Powerhouse Sound's debut, Oslo / Chicago: Breaks (Atavistic, 2007) focused on primal rhythms swathed in a scrim of invasive electronic ...

Album Review

Vandermark 5: Beat Reader

Read "Beat Reader" reviewed by Troy Collins

Beat Reader is the tenth studio album of all-original material from Chicago's esteemed Vandermark 5. Leading his most resilient and diverse ensemble into its second decade, composer/multi-instrumentalist Ken Vandermark has accomplished a remarkable achievement in a time when regular touring line-ups have vanished.Vandermark's advanced writing reveals a facility for composing interlocking, cellular structures that balance unique arrangements with ample room for individual expression. Stylistically diverse but instantly recognizable, Vandermark's eclectic tunes always bear the unmistakable mark of his ...

Live Review

Vandermark 5, Ottawa, Canada February 10, 2007

Read "Vandermark 5, Ottawa, Canada February 10, 2007" reviewed by John Kelman

Vandermark 5 Zaphod Beeblebrox Ottawa, Canada February 10, 2007

It's an unorthodox club where jazz is rarely--if ever--heard. And the show was promoted by a local team who are more in touch with the punk/indie scene. But sometimes things come together in the most unexpected ways. The Vandermark 5's first Ottawa appearance at Zaphod Bebblebrox--a mainly standing room-only club in the heart of the city's nightclub district--turned out to be not just a success ...


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